“Scottoline keeps the pace relentless as she drops a looming threat into the heart of an idyllic suburban community, causing readers to hold their breath in anticipation.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

The book opens with Chris Brennan awaiting his final interview with the principal, after having passed all the preliminary rounds, for a teaching job at Central Valley high school. On paper, Chris looks perfect. Of course, he has to dress perfectly, because appearances are important. But they can also be deceiving. Especially when it comes to him.

Within the first 10 pages, it is revealed that Chris is not what he claims to be. Everything about him is a lie. In fact, there’s reference to a past murder as well.

Goes beyond saying, being an expert liar, Chris charms the principal easily and lands himself the job of teaching AP Government as well as the assistant baseball coach. He has extensively researched out each and every student and teacher of the school, in order for him to find the right boy who will help lead him lead to his ultimate goal.

Meanwhile, the story also focuses on, Mindy Kostis (mother of Evan) who is grappling with secrets being hidden from her by both her son and her husband; Heather Larkin (mother of Jordan) who is dealing with a stifling job and trying to be both mother and father to her son and Susan Sematov (mother of Mike, aka Raz) who dealing with the untimely demise of her husband and the repercussions it has on her two children.

In the centre of all their stories is Chris Brennan and the story is told from all their viewpoints.

40% into the book, the first twist comes and what seems like your run-of-the-mill thriller, suddenly takes a new turn. Well-paced, with multiple characters, the plot remains intriguing till about the near end. It is a perfect blend of secrets, intrigue, and crime.

We know this and reiterate it time and time again: please use social media judiciously.

“Don’t volunteer so much to complete strangers. Don’t tell them the most personal things. Don’t post every detail about your private life. You have no idea who is out there, preying on you, using that information to their advantage.”

This is a brilliant thriller on domestic terrorism – and it’s a must read!

The ending is very movie-like, but entertaining nonetheless.

My rating: 5/5

 

Reviewed by:

Ranjini Sen

Added 25th September 2017

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Ranjini Sen